Beatniks

Overview

At a party in Bedford in 1995, Mary meets Jack and Neal, a couple of "angel headed hipsters," and the town’s very own local "Beats." After a "Beat Happening" at the public library, she joins them for a chaotic road trip, first to the English seaside resort of Brighton, and then to Ameri-ca, where, as they drive to San Francisco, Jack’s dreams prove hard to live with. The London Guardian wrote in February 2002 of the "high praise won by Toby Litt, one of the most prolific of the newer generation of British ...

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Overview

At a party in Bedford in 1995, Mary meets Jack and Neal, a couple of "angel headed hipsters," and the town’s very own local "Beats." After a "Beat Happening" at the public library, she joins them for a chaotic road trip, first to the English seaside resort of Brighton, and then to Ameri-ca, where, as they drive to San Francisco, Jack’s dreams prove hard to live with. The London Guardian wrote in February 2002 of the "high praise won by Toby Litt, one of the most prolific of the newer generation of British novelists . . . the writer who brought you Beatniks, an ingenious English On The Road of the mid-1990s, [and] Corpsing, a successful raid on the manor of the crime thriller . . . Litt has a lot to show us."

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is the first U.S. publication of Litt's debut novel. The narrator, a young Englishwoman named Mary, becomes involved with Jack and Neil, who aspire to live in the drug- and sex-filled world of "hipness" defined by the Beat generation. They decide that anything post-Beat era is "unhip," though Mary discovers that Jack and Neil's personal commitment to this canon is not as genuine as they lead her to believe. After Neil disappears following a car accident, Mary and Jack travel to America and trace Kerouac's journey from New York to the West Coast. During this journey, Mary discovers Jack's terror of living and his need to hide behind his charade of a beatnik. When they reach San Francisco, Neil reappears in an odd set of circumstances, and Mary discovers that "sometimes we do things we know we shouldn't do-not just afterwards, but while we're doing them." Although Litt moves the story along effortlessly, he fails to develop the characters enough to provoke the reader's sympathy. The events also seem implausible at times. Not recommended.-David A. Berone, Univ. of New Hampshire Lib., Durham Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714530833
  • Publisher: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd
  • Publication date: 12/1/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 325
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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